Why Do We Advise Eating Warm, Cooked Foods?
Hello, Renee here!
You may have heard us talk about the “Spleen and Stomach” and advising “warm foods” during your acupuncture treatment or herbal consult. But what are we really on about?
Sounds a bit different to the raw food and healthy salad stuff we all hear about it, doesn’t it?
When we refer to the “Spleen and Stomach” in Chinese Medicine, we are actually talking about more than just those two physical organs. We are in fact referring to a whole set of physiological functions related to the entire digestive system.
To explain this concept I often talk about the idea of ‘DIGESTION AS CAULDRON‘.
Imagine a pot or cauldron on a stove, stewing and boiling away, steaming up the kitchen, filling the house with delicious, nourishing smells, whetting everyone’s appetite. Yum!
We like to think of the “Spleen and Stomach” (think the area from your epigastrium down to below your belly button) as the Cauldron and your “Kidney or metabolic fire” (think lower abdomen and lower back) as the gas burner or stove, causing the ingredients in the pot to boil and bubble away, breaking the food down and enabling nutrients to be absorbed and utilised by the body.
Now if the pot is on the right burner and the gas is turned up and the ingredients have been prepared properly, everything will cook away as planned and the food will taste delicious.
However, imagine what would happen if you took the ingredients straight from the freezer and chose the smallest burner on the stove? Hmm. Probably not very much. I guess we have reached the point of my post.
In Chinese Medicine, the “Spleen and Stomach” work better when we eat warm and cooked foods. This supports the breakdown of food and fluids and helps to keep our “Kidney or metabolic fire” burning strong. If we are consuming too many cold or raw foods, we may experience digestive discomforts such as bloating, constipation or diarrhoea, gas, abdominal pain and fatigue.
One thing you can do to see if this applies to you is to have a feel of your upper and lower belly, hips and glutes. Does it feel cold to touch? Do you love a hot water bottle on your belly on your lower back? If so, then eating warm and cooked foods could make a real difference.
You don’t need to give up your all leafy greens though, try adding a ginger dressing or roast veggies and quinoa to your salads to warm them up. There is plenty to still enjoy in the souped, stewed, baked, steamed and stir-fried world. Perhaps give our delicious Autumn Barley Soup a try!
Dr Renee Knott
About the Author:
Dr. Renee Knott is a passionate and highly experienced, nationally registered Chinese Medicine Acupuncturist and Herbalist with 15 years clinical experience. Dr Renee enjoys providing her patients with exceptional natural health care, utilising the tools of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, dietary and lifestyle advice (Yang Sheng). Dr Renee loves to see the transformations that her patients go through, gaining knowledge and awareness of their own health and their inner potential with Chinese Medicine. Renee is bubbly, down to earth practitioner and is completely committed to helping patients reach their individual health goals. Learn more about Renee here.
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